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Jackson students get the salon treatment

One of the last times he had a haircut, Dakota Dominguez's dad cut off too much and left the 9-year-old with a buzzed hairdo.

"My dad did it and shaved off all the middle," said Dakota, who was excited to have his hair professionally styled in the Jackson Elementary School cafeteria Monday.

"I think I want a little bit of spikes," said Dakota, who was ready to keep his hair out of his eyes, but hesitant to have it cut too short again.

Sitting next to Dakota while they waited for their turn with a stylist from Salon Vivid was his classmate Jon Borba, who said his last haircut also was from his dad.

"He made me jump in the pool to get the hair off because I didn't have anything around my neck when he cut it," said Jon.

The boys were just a couple of the nearly 200 students who received a free cut, hair style or manicure from Salon Vivid stylists.

Principal Kelly Soter said about half of the 400 students at the school had permission slips signed allowing them to have a day at the salon, complete with candy and a cup of hot cocoa as they waited.

"I'm so glad I'm here and that you get free hot cocoa," said third-grader Logan Lynch.

The salon has donated the services to schools such as Jackson with low-income students for 14 years now, a tradition owner Jimy Angel enjoys.

"We tried to find schools with the strongest economic need," said Angel, who attended Jackson himself as a child. "A lot of these kids have never been to a salon."

Angel said the salon tries to hold the free event twice each year — once at the beginning of the school year, and again sometime around the holidays.

Angel remembered once when his stylists saw 300 kids during one school day.

"That's a lot of heads," Angel said.

Angel's entire staff took part in the unpaid salon day.

"It's optional and everyone always does it," said Angel, who added that the salon tries to stay involved with the local community through events like this.

"We do a lot of community service," said Angel. "And we try to keep it in our own backyard."

A 15-year employee of the salon, Alicia Rupe snipped away at the brown shoulder-length hair of Macy Broughton, 10.

Broughton, who patiently sat in a black salon chair to receive her trim and style, said she doesn't usually have her hair done in a salon.

"They want transformations," said Rupe. "A lot of girls with really curly hair get it flat ironed."

The school cycled each class through the cafeteria as the day went on, and stylists planned to join the kids for a recess break.

Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or tristow@mailtribune.com.

Ashley Rose, 8, gets her hair done by Salon Vivid stylists at Jackson Elementary School in Medford Monday. The salon regularly provides area school kids with free haircuts and other salon services. Mail Tribune photo / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch